He withdrew from the board of directors of News Corp, the family’s publishing empire, and said he left the company over “disagreements over certain editorial content published” by its news sites and “certain other strategic decisions.”
James Murdoch, whose older brother Lachlan Murdoch serves as CEO of Fox Corporation, had already left that side of the family business, in part because of his disgust with Fox News.
But he was back on the board of News Corp – something that had fascinated family friends.
The younger Murdoch repeatedly clashed with his father and brother’s conservative political views, sometimes even in public. He donated to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and fumbled about denying climate change.
By staying on the board of News Corp, he tested “the proposal to switch from within,”
Friday’s movement shows that he has given up on this proposal.
The News Corp umbrella includes papers such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. It also includes the book publisher HarperCollins and a number of newspapers in the UK and Australia.
A spokesman for James Murdoch had no further comment, saying the letter spoke for itself.
In a joint statement, his father Rupert Murdoch and brother Lachlan said: “We are grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
These additional efforts may include additional investments in news starters and other media companies. He launched an investment company, Lupa Systems, in early 2019.
His resignation The resignation of News Corp. represents his growing distance from the family business.
But he is still connected to the family through the Murdoch Family Trust, which has central voting rights in both companies.
Rupert Murdoch has four votes in the trust, and his four adult children have the other four votes. What happens to companies in the event of Rupert’s death is a constant source of media industry speculation.
On Friday night, a source stated that the resignation letter was not the result of any sudden action in New York.
On the contrary, the source said, tensions had been building for several months.
In January, for example, James and his wife Kathryn participated in the critique of the Murdoch properties’ coverage of fires in Australia.
A spokesman said at the time that James and Kathryn had “well-established” views on climate change and were “particularly disappointed by the persistent denial among news outlets in Australia given blatant evidence to the contrary.”